I’ve been passing by the Bamboo Organ Church in Las Piñas City for the longest time when I was still staying there and had never bothered to check out its museum for some reason. It took an appointment with my bank for me to revisit the place, and this time, finally enter its museum.
A huge bell, the original one that was used by the parish centuries ago, greeted me at its entrance. I was looking for the museum guide but was unable to find the guy so I lingered about the gift shop first, looking for ref magnets, taking photos and whatnots before the he finally showed up.
Entrance to the museum was Php50.00 and includes a postcard and a guided tour. After paying for my fee and keychain (which I would convert to a ref magnet since they ran out of stock, haha), my guide started unlocking the barred iron doors of the museum.
Like its mother structure, the Bamboo Organ Church, the museum is finished in adobe stones with red brick highlights and exposed ceiling. The huge sliding windows are made of Capiz shells and the floors of red clay tiles; giving the place a very Katipunero-era feel.The place was not that large but is chockfull of artifacts relating to the famed Bamboo Organ of Las Piñas. My guide related the parishes’ history, its humble beginnings, to the making of the organ by Padre Diego Cera, its retrofitting in Germany, and finally its reinstallation at the church. They have a mini mock-up of the bamboo organ (also made of bamboo) in the museum which you can actually play. Its inner workings were patiently explained by my guide too.
Pictures also abound on the walls showing the various stages of the church as time passed. There were busts, priestly chairs, giant bellows (the original one that was used in the organ), old broken bamboo pipes, and paintings. Everything Bamboo Organ is packed in this place.
The highlight of the tour is the world famous Bamboo Organ itself. We entered a cavernous stone hall, up into an old stairwell and finally to the loft of the church where the organ is located. I’ve never seen the Bamboo Organ this close and it looked as ancient as I thought it would be.
I was surprised that there are a lot more pipes at its back than what’s seen upfront. Too bad the pipe repository at the back is off limits to visitors so I was unable to take photos.
I’ve actually heard the organ play during one of the annual Bamboo Organ festival and I was totally blown away at how it sounded. I was expecting something soft and organic but if my memory serves me right, it actually sounded strong and almost jarring, not the sound you’d expect to come out of bamboo poles. The fifty-peso entrance fee was totally worth every cent just to get up close to this National Treasure, the museum tour itself was just an icing on the cake. This inexpensive mini-museum tour is totally recommended to anyone passing through the city of Las Piñas.
Bamboo Organ Museum
St. Joseph Parish, P.Diego Cera Avenue, Brgy. Daniel Fajardo, Las Pinas City
(02) 825-7190 | (02) 820-0795 | http://www.bambooorgan.org/
Museum Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 8AM-12PM, 2PM-6PM
Entrance Fee: Php50.00